The Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry: The Key Trends

The Digital
From novel process technologies to sustainable plastics— the chemical industry is scaling up its digital initiatives. This has opened new doors for organizations to explore opportunities to increase efficiency and streamline the process.

Admittedly, the chemical industry has been a little slower in implementing digital transformation. But COVID-19 has vastly increased the momentum of digitization among chemical plants.

According to a KPMG survey, 96% of industry CEOs saw digital transformation accelerate in their organizations, with 48 percent saying it advanced by a few years. In addition, according to a recent Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) survey, 82% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had "created a new sense of urgency" in driving investment in new technologies and digitalization.

Digital transformation solutions offer tremendous potential in the chemical sector. It can play a significant role in driving more value. So let's dig deeper and look at key technologies in bringing digital transformation to the chemical industry.


Circular Economy

Chemical manufacturers cannot exist within their own four walls any longer. They recognize the importance of working with their customers and other businesses and organizations to conserve resources and protect the environment. Chemical companies may source raw materials from recyclers as part of a circular economy, which necessitates fool proof solutions to confirm their quality and availability. Circular economy consortiums may advocate for reducing environmental threats such as ocean plastics or exposure to hazardous chemicals, opening up new avenues for innovation.
Customers are constantly looking for new ways to reduce waste and protect their ecosystems. For example, farmers may benefit from solutions that can instantly analyze soil quality, weather, and crops to determine the best products and schedule for applying fertilizers, crop protectants, or new seeds. Using this data, they use only what they need, generate less waste, and maximize output.


Error-Proof Operations

Chemical firms are also embracing technology to achieve operational excellence. They've discovered the benefits of using machine learning andIoT technologies to automate standard back-end processes. Technologies such as these reduce the need for human intervention — and thus the possibility of human error. Blockchain technology can also significantly reduce counterfeit chemicals' use, which is especially important for chemical manufacturers who supply products to the pharmaceutical or agricultural industries. In addition, blockchain technology can enable track-and-trace processes that require less work and waste while protecting the enterprise's reputation.


Staying Sharp in the Dynamic Market

Staying agile in an uncertain M&A environment is a top priority for some businesses. For example, chemical firms must be able to quickly divest assets, adjust portfolios, and adapt operations in response to market changes. Technology can provide executives with the visibility into operations, shipments, and market conditions required to make critical decisions and remain agile.


Data Analytics

The chemical industry is leveraging cloud-based storage systems to store and share confidential data anytime and anywhere. Additionally, data analytics solutions can analyze all the data effectively to provide valuable insights to the industry. This will help you make meaningful decisions in real-time.

Spotlight

Phoenix Welding Supply Company, Inc

Phoenix Welding Supply Company has been an Arizona business since 1953. We operate with the philosophy that our success is dependent entirely on the success and complete satisfaction of each customer. Our belief in building mutually beneficial relationships with our customers has proved effective, growing our company to nine branches and over seventy employees.

OTHER ARTICLES
Chemical Technology

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Chemical Technology

Survey Report: The State of Intelligent Operations in Oil and Gas

Article | June 11, 2021

Intelligent Operations can play a vital role in creating connected content environments, however, many companies – especially within oil and gas – having been slow on the uptake. Businesses that implement digital transformation initiatives often gain a competitive advantage over their rivals, as they benefit from reductions in human error, increases in productivity and further support for compliance efforts. This report, produced in collaboration with OpenText, dives into the results of our Intelligent Operations in Oil and Gas Survey 2020, revealing where the industry is in terms of its adoption of Intelligent Operations and the hurdles it needs to overcome to truly embrace digital platforms and solutions.

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Spotlight

Phoenix Welding Supply Company, Inc

Phoenix Welding Supply Company has been an Arizona business since 1953. We operate with the philosophy that our success is dependent entirely on the success and complete satisfaction of each customer. Our belief in building mutually beneficial relationships with our customers has proved effective, growing our company to nine branches and over seventy employees.

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Pall Corporation | January 15, 2024

Pall Corporation, a leading provider of filtration, separation and purification solutions, introduces SepraLYTE™ liquid/gas coalescers, an innovative solution designed to meet the increasing demand for efficient separation of electrolyte aerosols from gas in green hydrogen production processes. Leveraging advanced separation technology, SepraLYTE coalescers excel in the separation of water or electrolyte aerosols (30% potassium hydroxide solution) from hydrogen, ensuring the purity of hydrogen produced from electrolysis processes. They are highly suitable for a wide range of separation applications where minimal pressure drop is crucial for downstream processes. "Our new SepraLYTE coalescers represent Pall's commitment to serving our customers in energy transition markets. Pall continues to innovate to address new and challenging customer needs in fast growing markets like green hydrogen," said Greg Sears, Vice President and General Manager of Pall's Fluid Technologies and Asset Protection business unit. "Pall's coalescers enable our customers to optimize their plant design, maximize the lifetime of their critical equipment and improve overall efficiency, reliability and output," said Sears. These coalescers feature Pall's proprietary melt blown media technology, which achieves outstanding liquid mist separation with low differential pressure. The compact design incorporates coalescer media that ensures compatibility with various chemical applications. Other key advantages of SepraLYTE liquid/gas coalescers is the ease of maintenance, compact size and waste reduction. Utilizing SepraLYTE liquid/gas coalescers, customers gain significant advantages over conventional separation products. These advantages include reliable, consistent and verifiable separation performance, high gas flow and liquid removal in a compact cartridge, which allow for smaller systems with low capital, operating, and maintenance costs. About Pall Corporation Pall Corporation is a filtration, separation and purification leader providing solutions to meet the critical fluid management needs of customers across the broad spectrum of industries. Pall collaborates with customers to advance health, safety, and environmentally responsible technologies. The Company's engineered products enable process and product innovation and minimize emissions and waste.

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Charter Next Generation Launches GreenArrow™ Cavitated Recycle-Ready PE Films For Confectionery Applications Using Void Technologies'

Charter Next Generation | January 30, 2024

Charter Next Generation (CNG), a leading provider of sustainable films, announced that it has expanded its GreenArrow portfolio with a new line of cavitated polyethylene (PE) films. Developed in collaboration with VOID Technologies (VOID), the new recycle-ready films meet the rapidly growing demand for flow wrap and confectionery applications. Using VOID's patented VO+™ PE Voiding Agent Masterbatch and Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) film processing, CNG has successfully developed high-performing PE film structures that are opaque yet compatible with existing PE recycling streams making more packaging suitable for recycling. Adoption of MDO PE film is a rapidly growing industry trend as it enables recyclable, high-performing flexible packaging. By using VO+ Masterbatch, CNG can now produce thin gauge voided MDO PE films that offer a combination of low density and high opacity not achievable with mineral additives such as TiO2 pigments or CaCO3 cavitation agents. This innovation creates a unique PE-based recycle-ready alternative to conventional PP-based substrates that often require biaxial orientation. "CNG continues to raise the bar and re-invent packaging with a sustainability-first mindset. Using VOID's patented VO+ technology enables us to achieve the high opacity, ease of processing, and recycle-ready performance we are targeting for these films. This in turn allows our customers to reduce their use of virgin materials and process their packaging in existing polyethylene film recycling streams," said Brent Greiner, Vice-President of Technology at Charter Next Generation. The VO+ PE Masterbatch is added to PE resin to create nano and micro-scale voids, reducing density and creating high levels of opacity via light scattering through the voided structure. VOID's latest VO+ PE Masterbatch product is compliant with direct food contact standards in North America and Europe and has passed key recycling standards. James Gibson, CEO of VOID Technologies, commented, "CNG is a highly innovative and forward-thinking company. We are delighted with this collaboration and to be part of launching this new generation of recycle-ready voided PE films. As we look to the future, we are excited to be working with CNG across a range of projects that directly address sustainability and recycling targets." About Charter Next Generation Charter Next Generation (CNG) is North America's leading producer of highly engineered solutions used in the food, consumer, healthcare, and industrial markets. Committed to a sustainability-first approach, CNG leverages material science to engineer materials that help companies meet and exceed their sustainability goals. Known for world-class manufacturing capabilities and an innovation-driven approach, CNG operates fifteen facilities and employs over 2,200 employees and is a proud partner of Ownership Works®—a nonprofit partnering with companies to enable shared ownership, granting employees a stake in the value they create. About VOID Technologies VOID is a materials science company accelerating the transition to more sustainable plastics and packaging. The company combines its VO+ cavitation technology and R&D labs to help plastic and packaging companies rapidly develop new innovative products with a reduced environmental footprint. VOID's extensively patented VO+ technology was first conceived as part of a research initiative at Kimberly-Clark. Soon after, in 2015, VOID was launched as an independent company. Today, VOID has R&D labs and a compound manufacturing facility based in Neenah, Wisconsin (USA) and has commercial teams in Canada, France, and the UK.

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LyondellBasell & MSI Technology, LLC Collaborate on Innovative Consumer Packaging

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Pall Corporation Introduces SepraLYTE™ Liquid/Gas Coalescers for Green Hydrogen Production

Pall Corporation | January 15, 2024

Pall Corporation, a leading provider of filtration, separation and purification solutions, introduces SepraLYTE™ liquid/gas coalescers, an innovative solution designed to meet the increasing demand for efficient separation of electrolyte aerosols from gas in green hydrogen production processes. Leveraging advanced separation technology, SepraLYTE coalescers excel in the separation of water or electrolyte aerosols (30% potassium hydroxide solution) from hydrogen, ensuring the purity of hydrogen produced from electrolysis processes. They are highly suitable for a wide range of separation applications where minimal pressure drop is crucial for downstream processes. "Our new SepraLYTE coalescers represent Pall's commitment to serving our customers in energy transition markets. Pall continues to innovate to address new and challenging customer needs in fast growing markets like green hydrogen," said Greg Sears, Vice President and General Manager of Pall's Fluid Technologies and Asset Protection business unit. "Pall's coalescers enable our customers to optimize their plant design, maximize the lifetime of their critical equipment and improve overall efficiency, reliability and output," said Sears. These coalescers feature Pall's proprietary melt blown media technology, which achieves outstanding liquid mist separation with low differential pressure. The compact design incorporates coalescer media that ensures compatibility with various chemical applications. Other key advantages of SepraLYTE liquid/gas coalescers is the ease of maintenance, compact size and waste reduction. Utilizing SepraLYTE liquid/gas coalescers, customers gain significant advantages over conventional separation products. These advantages include reliable, consistent and verifiable separation performance, high gas flow and liquid removal in a compact cartridge, which allow for smaller systems with low capital, operating, and maintenance costs. About Pall Corporation Pall Corporation is a filtration, separation and purification leader providing solutions to meet the critical fluid management needs of customers across the broad spectrum of industries. Pall collaborates with customers to advance health, safety, and environmentally responsible technologies. The Company's engineered products enable process and product innovation and minimize emissions and waste.

Read More

Chemical Management

Charter Next Generation Launches GreenArrow™ Cavitated Recycle-Ready PE Films For Confectionery Applications Using Void Technologies'

Charter Next Generation | January 30, 2024

Charter Next Generation (CNG), a leading provider of sustainable films, announced that it has expanded its GreenArrow portfolio with a new line of cavitated polyethylene (PE) films. Developed in collaboration with VOID Technologies (VOID), the new recycle-ready films meet the rapidly growing demand for flow wrap and confectionery applications. Using VOID's patented VO+™ PE Voiding Agent Masterbatch and Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) film processing, CNG has successfully developed high-performing PE film structures that are opaque yet compatible with existing PE recycling streams making more packaging suitable for recycling. Adoption of MDO PE film is a rapidly growing industry trend as it enables recyclable, high-performing flexible packaging. By using VO+ Masterbatch, CNG can now produce thin gauge voided MDO PE films that offer a combination of low density and high opacity not achievable with mineral additives such as TiO2 pigments or CaCO3 cavitation agents. This innovation creates a unique PE-based recycle-ready alternative to conventional PP-based substrates that often require biaxial orientation. "CNG continues to raise the bar and re-invent packaging with a sustainability-first mindset. Using VOID's patented VO+ technology enables us to achieve the high opacity, ease of processing, and recycle-ready performance we are targeting for these films. This in turn allows our customers to reduce their use of virgin materials and process their packaging in existing polyethylene film recycling streams," said Brent Greiner, Vice-President of Technology at Charter Next Generation. The VO+ PE Masterbatch is added to PE resin to create nano and micro-scale voids, reducing density and creating high levels of opacity via light scattering through the voided structure. VOID's latest VO+ PE Masterbatch product is compliant with direct food contact standards in North America and Europe and has passed key recycling standards. James Gibson, CEO of VOID Technologies, commented, "CNG is a highly innovative and forward-thinking company. We are delighted with this collaboration and to be part of launching this new generation of recycle-ready voided PE films. As we look to the future, we are excited to be working with CNG across a range of projects that directly address sustainability and recycling targets." About Charter Next Generation Charter Next Generation (CNG) is North America's leading producer of highly engineered solutions used in the food, consumer, healthcare, and industrial markets. Committed to a sustainability-first approach, CNG leverages material science to engineer materials that help companies meet and exceed their sustainability goals. Known for world-class manufacturing capabilities and an innovation-driven approach, CNG operates fifteen facilities and employs over 2,200 employees and is a proud partner of Ownership Works®—a nonprofit partnering with companies to enable shared ownership, granting employees a stake in the value they create. About VOID Technologies VOID is a materials science company accelerating the transition to more sustainable plastics and packaging. The company combines its VO+ cavitation technology and R&D labs to help plastic and packaging companies rapidly develop new innovative products with a reduced environmental footprint. VOID's extensively patented VO+ technology was first conceived as part of a research initiative at Kimberly-Clark. Soon after, in 2015, VOID was launched as an independent company. Today, VOID has R&D labs and a compound manufacturing facility based in Neenah, Wisconsin (USA) and has commercial teams in Canada, France, and the UK.

Read More

Chemical Management

LyondellBasell & MSI Technology, LLC Collaborate on Innovative Consumer Packaging

LyondellBasell | February 02, 2024

LyondellBasell and MSI Technology, LLC announced they have entered into an agreement for MSI Technology to serve the LyondellBasell Polybutene-1 (PB-1) resin line into consumer packaging applications for North America. MSI Technology is also the sales representative for the LyondellBasell Plexar product line. The expansion of the relationship is a strategic fit relative to the markets MSI Technology serves today. MSI Technology will use its technical sales approach combined with its current specialty product portfolio to enhance offerings to customers in consumer packaging. LyondellBasell PB-1 resins are commonly used in consumer packaging applications for easy-open packaging and film modification for seal initiation temperature providing Broad seal-peel temperature range Consistent and reproducible peel performance Adjustable peel force to end-use requirements Similar initiation and propagation peel force "Whitening" with "Smooth & Clean" peel surface Good seal integrity Easy processability Usable in blown film, cast film, extrusion coating and sheet extrusion "At LyondellBasell, we're passionate about creating solutions for everyday sustainable living," said Palmer Giddings, vice president Polymers at LyondellBasell. "Collaborating with MSI Technology on innovative packaging solutions is a major step forward in achieving that goal." "We are thrilled to expand our collaboration with LyondellBasell," said Brian McCaghy, president of MSI Technology. "The PB-1 resins align perfectly with our mission to provide specialty polymers and solutions to the packaging industry." The PB-1 resin line is part of MSI Technology's product offerings. The company also provides clients with access to dedicated sales and technical service specialists who provide guidance on technical resin selection to meet customer requirements. About LyondellBasell We are LyondellBasell – a leader in the global chemical industry creating solutions for everyday sustainable living. Through advanced technology and focused investments, we are enabling a circular and low carbon economy. Across all we do, we aim to unlock value for our customers, investors and society. As one of the world's largest producers of polymers and a leader in polyolefin technologies, we develop, manufacture and market high-quality and innovative products for applications ranging from sustainable transportation and food safety to clean water and quality healthcare. About MSI Technology, LLC MSI Technology specializes in the sales, marketing, and development of specialty polymers. Our product lines include: Plexar tie-layer adhesives (manufactured by LyondellBasell), SPS peelable sealants, and SpeciPurge purging compound. MSI Technology and its sister company, Soarus LLC, are located in Arlington Heights, IL. Soarus markets Soarnol™), ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH), (manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Group) into North and Latin America. The two companies together provide sales and technical service for specialty polymers focused on the packaging market.

Read More

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